Abstract

Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer, defined by the National Cancer Institute as having been diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 39 years old, have not benefited from the same improvements in quality of outcomes and survival that have been seen for individuals diagnosed in childhood or as older adults. Although is leukemia composed of a diverse group of diagnoses, leukemia AYA survivors share unique vulnerabilities with other AYA diagnostic groups. They will spend the majority of their lives as survivors, with clear evidence of adverse medical conditions, health care requirements, and social and psychological needs that differ not only from their peers but also, from the needs of other cancer survivor populations. Furthermore, they share a developmental stage of life in which careers, finances, and family concerns are uniquely impacted by the cancer diagnosis and treatment. Leukemia in AYAs typically presents with higher-risk biologic features, and treatment requires multiagent chemotherapy, including alkylating agents, anthracyclines, high-dose steroids, frequently intrathecal chemotherapy, and sometimes, cranial radiation. Thus, AYAs have significant risks for long-term complications, subsequent malignancies, and accelerated development of usual age-related comorbid conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and dyslipidemias. AYAs require specialized health care monitoring, surveillance for late effects, and periodic evaluation of psychosocial, health behavior, and life goal outcomes.

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